Funded Phd Offer : Development Of A Predictive X-Ray Phase-Contrast Imaging Method For The Analysis Of Lightning-Struck Aeronautical Materials

Universities and Institutes of France
July 08, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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24 Oct 2023

Job Information





Research Field

Physics » Computational physics

Physics » Optics

Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)



Application Deadline

8 Jul 2024 - 18:00 (Europe/Paris)

Type of Contract


Job Status


Hours Per Week


Offer Starting Date

3 Jan 2024

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme

Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Replacing aluminum by carbon fiber composites (CFRP) in the aeronautic industry is a research effort towards sustainable aviation. But compared to aluminium, CFRP have lower thermal and electrical conductivities and a sheet-like structure, meaning that there is a larger risk of thermo-mechanical damage if lightning strikes occur. A better understanding of the physical phenomena leading to this type of damage would enable aircraft manufacturers to make a reliable assessment of the type of lightning protection they need to put in place to further optimize aircraft weight and materials management.

In situ investigation of materials requires the use of X-rays. However, images of CFRP, which are light materials, have low contrast if the imaging method is based solely on X-rays absorption (absorption contrast imaging or radiography). ONERA and CEA are therefore developing innovative imaging methods that also exploit X-rays deflection (phase contrast imaging or XPCI). The related imaging bench has recently provided tangible results to characterize the core damage of CFRP stricken on the ONERA lightning test bench (post-mortem analysis). These results have aroused strong industrial interest and led to the award of an ANR research grant.

In this thesis, you will use the XPCI numerical simulation tools of CEA and material damage tools of ONERA to develop a predictive imaging method for CFRP impacted by lightning. These simulations will be compared with experimental images to help in the interpretation and analysis of damage. Developments will be guided by the long-term objective of dynamically imaging CFRP damage during lightning strikes on ONERA's lightning test bench.

This thesis is funded by the ANR DyXPLAY project (2024-2028). To carry out the work, you will join the “Lightning, Plasmas and Application” team of ONERA, which has a long expertise in the physics of lightning. The team pursues modelling and experimental studies to understand the lightning arc interaction with aeronautical structures. You will be supervised by A. Jarnac, who has initiated the development of high-speed X-ray diagnostics at ONERA and has extensive experience of synchrotrons. You will have access to static XPCI bench of CEA and participate in experimental runs in synchrotron in the framework of the Shock BAG at ESRF 7 to verify the validity of your numerical developments. The doctoral project will be led by A. Stolidi from CEA List (Saclay) who develops innovative X-ray diagnostics for non- destructive testing and J. Primot from the Optics and Associated Technics Department (DOTA, ONERA Palaiseau), who is behind the development of advanced phase measurement methods.


1 L. Chemartin et al., Direct Effects of Lightning on Aircraft Structure: Analysis of the Thermal, Electrical and Mechanical Constraints, AerospaceLab, p. 1-15 (2012)

2 R. Sousa Martins, Etude expérimentale et théorique d'un arc de foudre et son interaction avec un matériau aéronautique, Thèse Université Paris-Saclay (2016).

3 A. Momose, Recent Advances in X-ray Phase Imaging, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 44, 6355 (2005)

4 A. Stolidi et al., "Confidence map tool for gradient-based X-ray phase contrast imaging." Optics Express 30, 4302 (2022)

5 G. Giakoumakis et al., "Artifacts reduction in high-acutance phase images for X-ray grating interferometry." Optics Express 30, 41147 (2022)

6 A. Stolidi et al., “X-ray phase contrast imaging model: application on tomography with a single 2D phase grating”, 11th Conference on Industrial Computed Tomography, Wels, Austria (iCT 2022)

7 https: // www.


Research Field


Education Level

Master Degree or equivalent


Profile and skills required: The student must have:

  • a strong interest in numerical simulation and the coupled simulation/experimentation approach
  • a background in physics (optics/plasma physics/ionizing radiation-matter interaction/metrology) that may include notions of materials science
  • good knowledge of computer programming languages (Python / C, C++, Matlab...).
  • knowledge of Monte Carlo particle transport codes would be a plus.
  • Languages



    Additional Information


    At the end of the thesis, the student will have developed skills in:

  • X-ray non-destructive testing on an emerging topic with strong industrial demand
  • wavefront analysis methods
  • composite materials and the physics of their damage
  • numerical simulation
  • problem-solving, teamwork, project management, oral and written communication.
  • Work Location(s)

    Number of offers available








    Postal Code



    chemin de la huniere


    Where to apply


    [email protected]





    https: // www.


    chemin de la Huniere

    Postal Code



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